Already feeling pretty down in the dumps because we were tired, we didn't feel much better when we got into Auckland and it was raining and cold
. We got the city Link bus (which just goes round and round the city in cirles) to the Auckland museum and got some lunch inside before we went around. We were really looking forward to going around the museum because we wanted to learn some more about Maori culture and history. There were some great exhibits in the museum, like a huge war canoe and full size Maori meeting house, but the museum wasn't organised very well and they didn't really explain what many of the exhibits were. Which meant that we were looking at some beautiful and interesting objects but we just didn't know what they were. The museum also had a traditional Maori performance, which included the haka, but it cost a small fortune to go and we decided to wait until later in the trip to visit a performance like this. After we finished at the museum we headed back into the main city centre and went to the Sky Tower, which is the tallest building in the southern hemisphere. As we approached we were met by the sight of someone doing a base jump from the roof down to a landing platform at street level! We went for a little wander around but decided not to go up to the top of the tower, it was still raining and the views wouldn't have been too great in the mist. Plus we were both starting to get over-tired, cold, wet and a bit miserable so we headed back down to the bus station, having a bar of chocolate and a McDonalds on the way to cheer ourselves up. Getting back to the campervan we felt like real zombies and decided against our original plan of driving on to our next destination that evening and so we went back to the campsite we had stayed at the night before.
Getting back to the campsite we had some tea and literally went straight to sleep. Being in the campsite at night though reminded us of one of the best things about being in New Zealand is the night sky. The sky is so clear at night that you can see hundreds and hundreds of stars and for the last three nights we have even been able to see the Milky Way in a thick white line acrossthe sky. It's incredible!
I think that today has reminded us that this trip is a marathon and not a sprint! We didn't really enjoy our visit to Auckland that much today because we were too worn out to take in what we were doing... hopefully we won't make the mistake of overdoing it too much again.
We woke up today in a place called Orewa which is about half an hour from the main centre of Auckland. We had decided to head back to Auckland to see all the city attractions as we hadn't had chance to see them when we first landed. Before we even left the campsite we were both feeling really worn out and tired, but we decided to press on and visit the city. Rather than drive into the city we went to a park-and-ride on the outskirts and got the bus in... trying to figure out the bus timetable was one of the most complex things we have done so far in this entire trip! But we were saved by a lovely lady from Hamilton (the next big ciy south of Auckland) who was also at the bus stop and who helped us figure out where we needed to be... in return we ran after her with her bag when she got off the bus and left it in the baggage compartment.. our good deed for the day!